The following is about the 2008 canceled short film. For other uses of the term "Volkonir," see the disambiguation page.
Volkonir was a canceled 2008 short American tokusatsu film by Dozerfleet Studios. It would have centered around how Cassie Helm finally frees Prince Volkonir from the spell put on him by King Gwirmalesh, allowing him to be a humanoid Cortascian once more and seek vengeance upon his Gwirdon enemies - while preventing them from wreaking further havoc on Earth.
Cassie Helm is a college student who exits a movie theater, only to find that a stranger from the alleyway is talking to her. The stranger turns out to be the legendary Prince Volkonir, an alien prince from 400 years ago who is now imprisoned within a stuffed toy and is telepathically begging Cassie's assistance to break the spell and change him back into a prince.
Cassie, initially reluctant to believe what Volkonir is telling her; picks him up and puts him in her bag. She tells him that she wants to head to the nearby barber shop to justify spending even more time downtown getting her hair done. Volkonir warns her to avoid the shop; stating that "great evil" lives in the shop.
Before she can clearly make up her mind on her next move, two of the "Gwirdons" that Volkonir claims are responsible for him being a toy show up, and he urges her to run. She grabs the talking toy and flees, with the hostile-but-clumsy Gwirdon Treaders in hot pursuit. Cassie and Volkonir get acquainted while they flee the Gwirdons; and when Cassie makes it to the Granger Building and Volkonir is changed back finally, a swift-but-violent battle ensues.
Volkonir as a prince initiates his magical sword Selshon, and after defeating the Gwirdons, he promises Cassie a reward. He leaves without explaining and Cassie stands in the distance, completely confused by what just happened. Some time later, Cassie is visited by a stranger who appears to have a romantic interest in her. She immediately assumes this was Volkonir's promised reward, and lets fellow Ferris student Dereck Tumbine into her residence hall room.
- Bethany Haase as Cassie Helm, a bored college student who becomes Volkonir's reluctant ally.
- John DeBruyn (Cortascian form) and David Stiefel (voice, toy form) as Prince Volkonir, a lonely Cortascian prince placed under a spell trapping him in the form of an enchanted stuffed toy for 400+ years. He is very bitter about this, and wishes to exact vengeance on the Gwirdons that Gwirmalesh sent to place him under the spell in the first place. He also senses that King Gwirmalesh has returned, and that the world needs the Golden Lion Cortascian Knight more than ever. He needs to get to the Granger Building at Ferris State and be tossed at a portal located near a pipe on the ceiling, so that he can be transported to the Pool of Healing back on Cortascius - which will break the spell. He has tried 43 times before meeting Cassie to employ human help, to little avail.
- Ryan Provo and Paul Miller as Gwirdon Treaders, Gwirmalesh's foot soldiers, who are looking for Volkonir out of suspicion that he may be getting close to the portal. They are determined to stop him from getting there, as they know he will simply seek his revenge once free.
- Jacob Hardy as Dereck Tumbine, a man who wants to date Cassie - though she doesn't know he exists. Volkonir intends to match them up as a reward for Cassie if she can successfully help him out.
The initial conversation style between Volkonir and Cassie is inspired after the nature of the Caller and Stu in Phone Booth. Volkonir's embittered toy voice is modeled after Kiefer Sutherland's voice in that movie. The Gwirdon Treaders' movements was largely inspired by the motions of several grunt creatures in several tokusatsu programs, and the dynamic of their walk is a tribute to the art of suitmation. Cassie as the reluctant heroine is a common theme in literature. She is named that for her dark hair, and shares a hair color and name with Cassie Manningfrom the Meshalutian Trilogy. Both Cassies are named after Power Rangers character Cassie Chan, as played by Patricia Ja Lee.
Volkonir was created because of a class at Ferris State University. TVPR 343 (Video Production II) was taught by Nick Kuiper. While a majority of the class wanted to make slasher / horror films, Volkonir sought to bring tokusatsu fantasy adventure into the frame.
The concept for Volkonir was developed as early as January 20th of 2008. The idea for it was simple: a modern-day variation of the Frog Prince fairy tale, told in a tokusatsu form, with a telepathic stuffed toy in the place of a frog and with a Kamen Rider-esque fight scene at the end instead of a wedding. The character was originally going to be named "Volkri," until that term resulted in pornographic pop-ups on Google searches. The term "Volkonir," however, turned back no results.
Time for production of Volkonir was split along with time spent on the creation of an episode of Beyond the Campus and an episode of Who's Who at FSU? - TVPR 345 classes that also interfered with the production schedule of Ciem 2.
Volkonir's toy form was a stuffed toy from Wal-Mart, originally of the smiley face in a New Year's celebration helmet. The toy was altered slightly to make it more generic. The props and costume for Prince Volkonir involved a far more involved set of shopping extravaganzas. The boots would be those of the Dozerfleet founder, kept dry for use by actor John DeBruyn. The pants and shirt, as well as a prototype for Vokonir's cape, were purchases from the Big Rapids Goodwill store. (John initially volunteered to find a cape for his own use.) Finding volunteers to play the Gwirdon Treaders proved the biggest challenge, as many students were self-conscious about participating in suitmation.
The production schedule for Volkonir was an on-and-off one of many setbacks that would ultimately result in the movie being shelved and the prequel being shot instead. The prequel, Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43, would become the project shown in the Video 2 class.
The script was completed in February of 2008. On the 12th, the costume for Prince Volkonir was purchased from Goodwill of Big Rapids, along with the sword (later named Selshon) from one of the toy shelves at K-Mart of Big Rapids.
MySpace promotions for Volkonir began on the 22nd of February. Also on the 22nd, shooting began for the Volkonir teaser trailer. Since John DeBruyn, the actor playing the prince form of Volkonir, was out of town on other business, the toy form narrated the mostly human-subject-free footage for the trailer. It was this trailer that helped establish much of Volkonir's history - and the geography of his universe. The trailer was shown in class on February 25th of 2008, and later released to YouTube at 3:45 AM EST on March 5th that same year.
Later on, as part of a montage assignment, a second trailer was to be shot, showing Volkonir in the height of his glory as a prince saving women from Gwirdon foes. The Brophy Hall basement was used with permission for this project. Unfortunately, this project was canceled due to running out of time and the fact that two girls who knew the camera operator, mistaking the project for a porno shoot, began making numerous sexual taunts to the cast and crew.
Sexual harassment of the crew by Brophy residents proved too much for John, who then quit his role as Volkonir. After several failed attempts by the producer to get in touch with Bethany Haase and Jacob Hardy for shooting schedule talks, those two actors were "fired" and the project of the final movie called off. There was particular frustration that not one theater student was willing to volunteer time for the project. According to John, this was because "nobody's interested in tokusatsu anymore. The genre's gotten a bad rap; and that's all there is to it." Because of this, the project was sent to Development Hell, while it's prequel Volkonir Journals was instead made for a grade.
The music that was going to be used for this movie was primarily some pre-recorded specially-licensed music by Burning Death Machine's album Capture the Flag. The song "Capture the Flag" would ultimately become Volkonir's theme song for Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43., designed for use by students of film. The tracks "Seaside Getaway," "Wondering About You," and "City of Sunshine" were all lined up for use, but only "Wondering About You" was used for the Volkonir trailer. Also intended for use were "Capture the Flag" and "All Those Miles" off of
In spite this, plans were made for a TV series follow-up to the plot of Volkonir, should a future remake ever be made to reboot the universe to the big screen. A new theme song was made for the pitch of Volkonir: The Series, using a tune based heavily on "City of Sunshine."
- Volkonir universe
- Volkonir Journals
- Volkonir Journals: Attempt #43
- Trailer for Volkonir
- The Blue Face Film Strips